Environmental Agriculture

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Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (November 2013)

STATE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD - A. Proposed Regulations - 1. 9VAC5-130. Regulation for Open Burning (Rev. E12) (amending 9VAC5-130-10 through 9VAC5-130-50, 9VAC5-130-100; repealing 9VAC5-130-60)....more

Wisconsin Appellate Court Holds Manure Not a Pollutant

In its recent decision in Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2013 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1031 (Wis. App. Dec. 11, 2013), the Court of Appeals for Wisconsin had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm...more

GMO Laws Take Root in Hawai‘i

Recently, two counties in the State of Hawai‘i passed laws that restrict the growth and cultivation of genetically modified crops (“GMO”). Kaua‘i County passed Bill 2491 after overriding a mayoral veto on November 16, 2013....more

Energy And Environment Update -- December 11, 2013

In This Issue: Energy and Climate Debate; Congress; Administration; Department of Agriculture; Department of Energy; Department of Interior; Environmental Protection Agency; Nuclear Regulatory Commission;...more

Georgia DNR Board Postpones Vote On CAFO Rules Changes

On November 18, the Board of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources postponed a vote scheduled for December 3 on rules changes that, if approved, could expand the state’s hog industry by raising the threshold for...more

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

US federal agencies to seek expanded Clean Water Act regulatory jurisdiction over aggregate mines and farmlands

The US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) are poised to propose a new rule that would significantly expand their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. While many...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lists 15 Hawaiian Species As Endangered

This week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) listed (pdf) 15 species on the island of Hawaii as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Among the species protected are the anchialine pool shrimp...more

Legislative Update Report No. 2013-20 -- Oct 28, 2013

In This Article: Federal Government; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland; Northwest Territories; Nova Scotia; Nunavut; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Québec/Quebec; Saskatchewan; and Yukon....more

Georgia DNR Board To Consider Increases To CAFO Permitting Thresholds

The board of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will consider changes to rules for permit requirements for swine feeding operations. The most significant change proposed is to increase the threshold for triggering...more

Opposition to Genetically Engineered Crops Goes Local: Municipal Laws Seek to Ban GMOs

A recent effort by two Los Angeles city councilmen to ban the sale and cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) signals an emerging trend in the attack against crop biotechnology. Municipalities in a number of...more

The Answer, My Friend, Is Not Blowin’ In The Wind: Waste From CAFO Ventilation Fans Does Not Require an NPDES Permit

Earlier this year, in her aptly named post “What the Cluck?”, Patricia Finn Braddock, noted that a state court in North Carolina had held that wastes from poultry farms, blown by ventilators from confinement houses and then...more

ML Strategies Weekly Energy and Environment Update – Week of October 21, 2013

Despite coming to an agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling last week, Congress will continue to address these issues over the next three months through the fiscal year 2014 appropriations and yet...more

USDA Announces $181 Million Loan Guarantee Authority Under the Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Loan Guarantee Program

On October 2, 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a long-awaited Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Loan Guarantee Program (9003 Program). This...more

House Passes Healthy Forests Bill That Would Amend ESA With Respect To Forest Reserve Projects

On September 20, 2013, H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 244-173. Shortly thereafter, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee...more

Current Issues in Texas Surface Water Law

Learn more about the major issues currently going on in Texas related to surface water. This article was initially published on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw ...more

Energy And Environment Update -- October 8, 2013

In This Issue: Energy and Climate Debate; Congress; Administration; Department of Agriculture; Department of Energy; Department of Interior; Department of Justice; Department of State; Department of Treasury;...more

Texas Water: Basics of Surface Water Law

This article outlines the basics of surface water law in Texas. *This was first published on the Texas Agriculture Law Blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw . ...more

California Air Resources Board Issues Draft Update to AB 32 Scoping Plan

This week the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released a draft of its AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update. The original Scoping Plan was adopted in 2008 and must be updated every five years. The Scoping Plan serves...more

Texas Water Wars: Texas v. New Mexico

Learn more about a lawsuit between the states regarding the waters of the Rio Grande River that is creating serious controversy between the two states and may be decided by the United States Supreme Court. This article is...more

Energy And Environment Update -- September 17, 2013

In This Issue: Energy and Climate Debate; Congress, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy; Department of Transportation; Environmental Protection Agency; Federal Energy Regulation Commission; Nuclear...more

Hydraulic Fracking and the Battle Over Beneficial Water Use in California: The Next Phase of Fracking Litigation in California

The competition between agriculture, energy, domestic and environmental interests for water in California is fierce and is about to become more contentious. In a “wet year,” the demand for water from these interests may...more

Most Favored Nations Clause: Something To Consider

A recent Texas appellate court decision outlines the mechanics of a "most favored nations clause" in an oil and gas lease. These clauses require that a mineral lessor treat the lessee as well as any other lessee in a defined...more

Biomass Opportunities Abound In Michigan

Michigan State University has created a biomass inventory for the state that identifies biomass and land that can produce high energy value biomass....more

Texas Surface Owners Beware!: Understanding Mineral Lessee’s Rights to Use the Surface Estate

In Texas, surface owners are often surprised to learn that mineral owners who lease the mineral rights to an oil company grant that company the right to various uses of the surface estate. In these situations, the surface...more

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